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What is No Fault Divorce?


No Fault Divorce allows couples to divorce in an amicable manner, without the need for one spouse to blame the other. Spouses are also not be able to contest the divorce, apart from on grounds such as coercion and fraud. This change also applies to civil partnership dissolution.

A minimum timeframe of 20 weeks is being introduced between the application and the conditional order, to counter concerns that the reforms make divorce too quick and easy. This timeframe will give couples an opportunity to reflect and work through their differences before committing to a divorce.

There is a minimum 6 week period following the conditional order before the applicant can apply for the final order. In most cases, this 6 week period is extended to deal with outstanding financial matters.

Another option for couples is to enter into a separation agreement, which is a written agreement outlining the terms of the separation. A separation agreement will not end the marriage, but it can enable both people to agree on the terms of the separation and can be completed in a quicker timeframe than divorce or no fault divorce. A separation agreement is very different from divorce and you should therefore speak to your lawyer about whether such an agreement would be suitable in your specific case.

To find our more read our latest guide on everything you need to know about the new no fault divorce law and why it is the most impactful change to divorce law in 50 years.



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